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Pond 20- Simple Clarity/simple direction for the South Bay of San Diego

Making Bait on the Dikes...South Bay San Diego
Making Bait on the Dikes...South Bay San Diego
Most of the time I meet people walking by the my garden which adjoins the IB slough.  Its great and rarely do we talk of politics.  However there comes a time when we must use our God given right for free speech. So here goes....I have spent the last 40-50 years fishing, swimming, camping, and playing in the South San Diego Bay. This is a wonderful place, the best place on earth.  I have lived in North County...you can have it...too many cars and the quality of life does not compare to the South Bay.

Many local citizens of the south bay are not aware current status of the 95 acres at the corner of 13 Street and Palm Avenue.  In 1998 with little public notice the south bay communities of Chula Vista, South San Diego, Nestor, and Imperial Beach through their elected officials and the Port District gave away 722 acres of south San Diego Bay to environmental concerns for the right to expand the airport at Lindberg Field.  At that time they wisely set aside 95 acres for future public development at the corner of 13th street and Palm Avenue. The Port is now asking the public for its input into how this land is to be used for the public good of the communities of the South San Diego Bay. To give you an idea of how big this place is the Charger parking lot is 114 acres.  This area is large.  In my opinion the project breaks down as follows:

Most of the public does not know that there are two groups are vying for this land.  

The first group is local professionals and residents who want the land to be used for public parks or outside facilities such as fishing, horseback riding, camping, bird watching, bicycle race track, baseball/soccer fields or to access the south bay via paddle boarding/ kayaking facilities, university site for research on water quality. This group wants to develop the land in the same way that San Diego and Coronado have developed their respective water fronts. To do so in an environmentally sensitive way to enhance the use of property for both the environment and the public.  These citizens feel that too much land has been traded away from the south San Diego Bay to the benefit of the north San Diego.  The local feeling is "The Big Bay”-For Big Pockets".  Most local citizens feel and it can be argued that spending and land use benefit only the north end of the bay and the south bay communities get nothing. As said by many " we get our land traded away, and the City of San Diego gets the projects and jobs, we get nothing” It is not too hard to see this in the morning commute on the freeway.  All the cars are headed north/ no cars heading south. 

The second group represents the environmentalist and the developers.  At first glance these groups seem opposed to each other, but in fact they are not.  These groups want Pond 20 to be traded into a Land Mitigation Bank. If the Pond 20 land goes into a Mitigation Land Bank then public discussion ends and public use of the land ends.  Then the developers sit down with the environmentalist and decide behind closed doors and decide the fate of public lands without public over site.  More importantly the south bay communities get nothing in return.  For example say a group wants to expand the convention center at a cost of $500 million.  The project sits on the bay front.  This group goes through all the proper permit process and then stops by the land mitigation bank and buys up sensitive land credits.  The end results are follows and this list is not complete. 

1)    South Bay communities get public land taken away for the benefit of others, who are not public representatives.

2)    We lose rights of access ….we can’t even touch the water and have no access.

3)    Taxes created in the south bay are spent on the north end of bay communities.

4)    Jobs are created in the north end of the bay and lost on the south end of the bay

Please email all of your elected officials and the San Diego Port District and tell them I DO NOT WANT POND 20 TO BE TURNED OVER TO LAND MITIGATION BANKING.  Listed below you will find the links to your City, State, Federal officials.

Port of San Diego                             pond20@portofsandiego.org

Mayor City of San Diego                   toddgloria@sandiego.gov

List of elected officials                   http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/voters/Eng/reports/pubofficials.pdf

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Roger Alan Benham January 16, 2014 at 04:18 PM
Dear Pop Quiz: You show great insight when you ask "Why don't the other cities accept mitigation for our development?". This relates to one of the worst fears for the IB Area. As pointed out in Leon's blog, 90% of Western Salt has been used to mitigate the Airport expansion, Liberty Station, etc, and who-knows how much of the TJ River has been used up by SWIA ($30 million+) and others. Someday the People of the IB Area will want to pursue economic development of land (Pond 20 for example) and be told “you can’t do that without equal land set aside for mitigation”. Then, we will look around and see that everything has been used to offset development to the North. That is when we will realize we’ve been dooped again. Please, let’s not let that happen.
Libi Uremovic January 16, 2014 at 06:52 PM
roger - the fact that serge surfs has nothing to do with his ability to honestly govern a city ....and you're the 1st person i've known to call surfers 'a privileged few'... anyone can learn to surf - the ocean is free to all .... ======================================= you idea for a theater is a private sector investment, not public sector ...
Libi Uremovic January 16, 2014 at 07:05 PM
'... I also despise two-faced groups who are in it for personal gain --- Wildcoast supported the Sand Replenishment that destroyed the natural beach ...' wildcoast didn't 'approve' the improper sand replenishment ... the sand replenishment was done improperly and at the wrong time of the year......there was no financial gain for wildcoast or serge.... the person that benefited financially was the ib mayor/vp of sandag, but you don't want to blame him because you support the corruption.... ======================================= '...'when I refer to organizations such as Wildcoast as eco-terrorists it is not name-calling --- it is simply stating the truth ...' no, it isn't 'the truth'....the truth is that you've been brainwashed to respond to code words like pavlov's dog so you no longer have the ability to process information and make rational choices..... ======================================= political parties use the same procedures as a cult - they brainwashed their followers with lies so they can't think for yourself....
Roger Alan Benham January 18, 2014 at 06:46 PM
Hello Libi: I appreciate your comment, but I’m afraid you missed the point. The metaphor was related to the “Surfer’s Bench”, not surfers. Yes, the PCH Dinner Show is absolutely a for-profit private enterprise, because this is exactly what the IB Area needs for the immediate and future prosperity of our community. Trust me, I know about surfers and the surfing business. The PCH Dinner Show concept is advanced thinking where we package our surfing and SoCal beach heritage into a world-class tourist venue. If we don’t do this not only will we lose an opportunity for a desperately needed booming private enterprise, but our heritage could be lost, e.g., there are not going to be any more Tim Townsleys, David Craigs, or Jay Novaks. Please read www.PCHDinnerShow.com.
Leon January 22, 2014 at 05:48 PM
To all who responded to the letter I posted "POND 20 Simple Clarity/ Simple Direction". After reading the comments I can see that almost everybody wants something good to come of Pond 20. The current fences that restrict our access while other parts of the bay enjoy the freedom to walk up to the waterline frustrate many of us. Others who have fought hard to protect our the bay want to make sure the water is clean and the wildlife is protected. Why can't we have BOTH access while protecting the environment. During the first public outreach meeting held in early 2013 by the Port local people spoke out with their concerns for public safety, public use and a variety of other issues. Dr. McCoy spoke out in support of a Kayak entrance point at the foot of 13th street. Since then no public dialog has taken place. If the Port of San Diego is unwilling to or cannot provide the venue for a public workshop then why don't we do it ourselves. I would be willing to host the event, provide large scale aerial photographs and moderate. In our county there are many, many great examples of public use areas that are within or very near sensitive lands. Certainly, using these examples we can create a place that reflects our values. It may be easy to sit and write things via email however I ask that we do the hard thing. Think of the great opportunity we have to create something. Lets create a crown jewel for the South Bay Communities. I DARE YOU.

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